I have just woken up at 4pm. This isn't because I am extremely lazy but the contrary. I have worked the bank holiday weekend night shifts. I was told that this is a busy weekend as it is Youth Day and they did not lie.
Saturday night got off to a slow start. A couple of shootings early on in the night that had to be taken to theatre for wash out and exploration. But they were ok. One chap got shot in the scrotum, which was rather unfortunate. There was the standard influx of pedestrian vs vehicle cases, which seems to be our routine work. One of the lads was airlifted as he was found by the side of the road. Turns out he has suffered a severe head injury.
At about 2am all hell breaks loose. 3 resuscitation patient arrive all at once. One gunshot, one stab chest and one stab neck. Everybody was running around like a maniac trying to create enough space for these patients.
The gunshot was very lucky. The bullet entered top left abdo and was found sitting mid right abdo but not very deep. Which indicates a really odd trajectory. We came to the conclusion somebody either shot him from a height or when he was lying down.
The stabbed chest was not actually too deep so missed any important structures. We closed him up and monitored him.
The stab neck was very near the centre. So a lot of important structures in the vicinity. This chap was stable on arrival then during the resus his blood pressure started to drop indicating that he was bleeding out. No messing around the brakes were released off the trolley and the patient was rapidly wheeled to the operating theatre for an exploration of his chest. After some of the fastest hand washing in the world I was scrubbed up in theatre at 4am watching this mans life reach a critical junction. Thankfully everything was under control. A few arteries tied off and the removal of blood clots from behind his lungs and he was off to attempt a full recovery in intensive care.
Very slow start. We considered stabbing each other for some work creation. But sure enough there was a steady influx of customers. A few more girls tonight. One had a deep slash to her right scapula. That was sutured and sent on her way. Another girl had been assaulted and then shot in the arm. The wound was very superficial so a couple of stitches were required.
It was all quiet until about 6am when a gentleman comes in with a stabbed abdomen and deep lacerations to his hand exposing his tendons. Not only that, he had exviseration (abdominal organs are squeezed out of a wound). He was not in a good way and we could not get any normal access so a central line was put in before he was sent off to theatre for exploration and repair of his wound. Before I knew it, it was 7am and knackered so I came home for some much deserved beauty sleep.
South Africa is a wonderful place it is just such a shame that the inequalities within society precipitates such violence. Thankfully those who are misfortunate are able to receive world class care from some of the best Trauma Surgeons in the world. (That doesn't include me just yet)